The chain began with the modder, known as Joe W-A, finding it unfair that Valve flew several members of a Left 4 Dead 2 boycott group to the company's headquarters. "Why the hell haven't I been flown to Valve? I mean, you guys need to preview my campaign," he wrote to Newell in an email.
"We are boycotting your campaign," Newell replied, to which Joe W-A asked, "Does that mean I have to fly you here?" Newell raised the stakes: "Me and [Valve designer Erik Johnson]."
Unfazed by a $1200 Qantas price quote, Joe W-A solicited help from the gaming community, raising over $3000 for the trip. Valve public relations officially announced Newell and Johnson's plans today.
"In 2003, the community helped the FBI and European law enforcement officials find the people who stole the Half-Life 2 source code," said Newell. "This year, the community is putting me on a plane to the other side of the world to meet Joe W-A and see his MOD. It's going to be a fun trip."
A report on the trip will be posted to the official Left 4 Dead blog following the escapade.